What to Do If Fear of Bugs Is Preventing You from Practicing Entomophagy?
How about you try some bugs for lunch? I can almost see some of your face cringes. You are not alone. Most people actually do fear seeing bugs let alone snacking on them. For beginners, entomophagy is a word that originates from Greek, which means eating insects in much the same way as you eat chicken, beef etc. This includes eating insects’ eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults. Interestingly, there are thousands of insect species that actually are edible and eating insects isn’t a new thing by any means. Lots of communities around the globe have been eating insects with some of the favorite ones on the menu being termites, beetles, crickets, caterpillars, bees brood, locusts, wasps, ants, termites, dragonflies.
Why Practice Entomophagy?
One major reason why you should practice entomophagy has got to be its incomparable nutritional value. Edible bugs have diverse nutritional benefits-they are known to provide vitamins and essential minerals, low level of cholesterol fats, adequate proteins and much more. No wonder the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization even encourages people to try out insects as food U.N http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3253e/i3253e.pdf .
The real hurdle for many though is to overcome the fear of bugs and start practicing entomophagy. Now, if you are one of those who are scared of eating insects then we will be telling how you can overcome your fears.
How to Overcome Fear of Eating Bugs
Blend insects With What You Know
You can consume bugs in different ways that are more appealing to you. Instead of ordering a whole insect, like a cricket or tarantula, order a dish that has been manipulated into a powder or baked product. For example, you can take cricket protein powder, baked bread with insect powder, cricket bars, smoothies etc. If you are preparing the insects yourself, then dry and grind them into powder form. Then you can use it in a meal, say in soup for example. You can even buy a cookbook with recipes on how to prepare different insect meals.
Change your Perception on Entomophagy
See insects differently. Believe me, food perceptions can change. Someone somewhere is trying out a new food and the concept of a new dish is not as disgusting as you imagine. So just be open to new menus and give it a try-especially keeping in mind the nutritional value that comes with insects. In fact, food can turn from obscure to popular as we have seen with “stranger food” such iguana eggs, roasted herons, stuffed dormice, ambergris among others
Someone once said, “If it looks good, eat it.” If the bugs are clean and packaged attractively, then it is worth a try. Furthermore, you are well aware that eating certain insects has been approved so there is no harm in trying.
Appreciate the nutritional value of Entomophagy
Edible insects have interesting nutritional benefits. They contain whole protein and have a good amount of protein. They also contain fibre, fat which has low content cholesterol, essential minerals, and vitamins. That is a whole balanced diet! Do not be surprised to learn that they are more nutritious compared to common foods such as cheese, eggs, milk products and meat products.
Consuming insects like crickets, yellow mealworm, butterfly’s caterpillar will give you vitamins that prevent conditions such as heart-related ones, eyes, and skin. Therefore, embrace the idea that eating bugs is very good for your health as this will also change your perception of entomophagy.
Attend insect food fairs
Attending insect food fairs can also help you overcome the fear of bugs. Being part of such fairs demystifies what entomophagy is all about and eases the process of consuming insects. In such events, people have the chance to taste several insects, cooked differently. If you get a chance to attend, then taste and familiarize yourself with such foods, and you will realize that having insects as food is better than you think. Insect food fairs are normally hosted in various countries annually and people who have attended such events often say they would try again.
How will you know if you do not give it a try?
Sometimes some food might not look appealing but tasty to eat. But, you have to give it a try to know, right? To help you overcome the fear think less about the disgust and focus more on appealing to taste. Trying different methods of preparation makes it even more interesting. The world is searching for a more sustainable food program as the population keeps growing. Most governments and NGOs are urging more people to embrace rearing edible insects, putting emphasis on the fact that bugs have exceptional nutritional value and fewer negative environmental impacts.
Entomophagy is a traditional practice and if other people have eaten them, why shouldn’t you give it a try? So gain courage and convince yourself that you will never know until you give it a try.
Watch and Learn
At times your attitude may be affected by what you see on the media or from your family members and friends. In other words, you can start by watching people eating insects, perhaps on TV, the Internet, magazines or those around you. You can also experiment with your peers or family members who are also keen to try out eating insects. The more you see insects, the easier it will be to condition your brain to give it a try.
That’s it! It’s time to go and experiment now. It certainly is possible to successfully combat your fear of bugs and start practicing entomophagy. With the constant rise of grain and meat products prices, insects would make a very affordable supplement. Their flavor and nutrient content is as good as or even better than the food you are used to. Try and you never know. You might get hooked!